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Roger S. Baskes playscript collection

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Baskes-Playscripts

Scope and Content of the Collection

Playscripts from the Steppenwolf and Goodman Theatres, as well as Chicago Shakespeare Theater. One playscript from Chicago Opera Theatre. Some playscripts include a cover signed by the production’s cast and director. Some plays are photocopies from printed sources. Collection also contains screenplays from the Saul Zaentz Company, namely The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The English Patient, and The Mosquito Coast.


  • Creation: 1986-2020



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Roger S. Baskes playscript collection is open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Roger S. Baskes playscript collection is the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Biography of Roger S. Baskes

A Harvard Law graduate, Roger Baskes practiced law in Chicago for 20 years. Away from that world, Baskes is an avid collector of atlases and other books with maps. He is immediate past chair of the board of trustees of The Newberry Library in Chicago, home to the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Baskes, his wife, and family move their philanthropy through the Baskes Family Foundation. The family is based in the eastern half of the United States, and Chicagoland in particular serves as an important site of philanthropy. In Chicago, the family's largest sums of late have gone to arts and culture organizations. Opera and theater organizations are especially well featured. Grantees include Goodman Theatre, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Opera Theatre, Newberry Library, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Museum of Contemporary Art, and Chicago History Museum.

Baskes also supports his alma mater, University of Chicago, home to the Julie and Roger Baskes Group Study. The couple has donated rare and historical books with maps that they have collected. Other recipients of donations include Northwestern University's Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, as well as various Jewish organizations across Chicago.


3.8 Linear Feet (9 boxes)


Playscripts, some signed, and primarily from the Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, and Chicago Shakespeare Theater, all in Chicago. Also includes three screenplays from the Saul Zaentz Company: The English Patient, The Mosquito Coast, and The Unbearable Lightness of Being.


Materials arranged alphabetically by playwright. Multiple works by the same playwright arranged alphabetically by show title. Multiple copies of the same play arranged chronologically by date of production. Theater company included, where known.

Collection Stack Location

1 41 2

Ownership and Custodial History

Forms part of the Roger S. Baskes Collection (Newberry Library)


Gift of Roger S. Baskes, 2011-2019.

Processed by

Lisa Hartman, 2018; Alison Hinderliter, 2020.



Inventory of the Roger S. Baskes playscript collection, 1986-2020
Lisa Hartman, 2016; Alison Hinderliter, 2020.
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2020-09-28: Accessions from 2019 and 2020 added

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States